Microsoft and open source face off over IP telephony

Open source company Digium an imposing competitor for Microsoft in the business telephony world

Things are getting tense in the business telephony world. Microsoft is heading for a face-off with the increasingly influential open source company Digium. Both companies are launching competing phone systems for small businesses at the VON 07 trade show in San Jose, California.

In the world of products uniting the worlds of VOIP and traditional telephony, Digium is the more established of the two players, with its open source Asterisk software built into a wide range of products and used by more than two million users.

Until now Digium has concentrated on enterprises and telecommunications providers, with the Asterisk software having become a de facto standard for any company selling x86-based products that combine IP and analog telephony.

At VON the company aimed to extend its reach by introducing an appliance aimed specifically at smaller businesses and branch offices.

The Asterisk Appliance, with no moving parts, no fan and supporting up to 50 users, will be available from Digium or its partners in early May, with prices starting at US$995.

The appliance includes Asterisk Business Edition software and Digium hardware, and supports both VOIP and traditional analog phones. The system runs on Linux.

It includes a full-featured PBX, with voice response, voicemail, conferencing, automatic call distribution and call queuing. It can be administered through a setup wizard and supports autoprovisioning of Polycom IP phones.

Digium had a strong presence at VON, with founder and CTO Mark Spencer giving a keynote speech and a number of vendors showing Asterisk-compatible products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is aiming to better establish itself in the game with a system called Syspine, based on the company's Response Point software, which will be offered through OEMs Quanta Computer, D-Link and Uniden.

Syspine is a direct competitor to Asterisk Appliance, intended for smaller businesses, with no moving parts or fan, and intended to be simple to set up and administer - users should be able, for instance, to add numbers for new employees without any specialized knowledge.

Syspine will begin beta testing next month and become available later in the year.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?